What to Recycle for Residents and Apartment Managers

December 12, 2019
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Discover how to sort your recycling and what belongs in your bin. Please empty and rinse metal, glass, plastic and cartons containing food before recycling.

Metal (all kinds)

  • metal cans (soup, pet food, empty aerosol cans, empty paint cans, etc.)
  • aluminum foil and foil products (wrap and trays)
  • metal caps and lids
  • household metal items (wire hangers, pots, tools, curtain rods, small appliances that are mostly metal, certain vehicle license plates, etc.)
  • bulky metal items (large metal items, such as furniture, cabinets, large mostly metal appliances, DOES NOT INCLUDE electronic devices banned from disposal)


  • glass bottles and jars ONLY

Plastic (rigid plastics)

  • plastic bottles, jugs, and jars
  • rigid plastic caps and lids
  • rigid plastic food containers (yogurt, deli, hummus, dairy tubs, cookie tray inserts, “clamshell” containers, other rigid plastic take-out containers)
  • rigid plastic non-food containers (such as “blister-pack” and “clamshell” consumer packaging, acetate boxes)
  • rigid plastic housewares (flower pots, mixing bowls, plastic appliances, etc.)
  • bulk rigid plastic (crates, buckets, pails, furniture, large toys, large appliances, etc.)

Note:  Rigid plastic is any item that is mostly plastic resin—it is relatively inflexible and maintains its shape or form when bent.


  • Food and beverage cartons
  • Drink boxes
  • Aseptic packaging (holds beverages and food: juice, milk and non-dairy milk products, soup, etc.)


  • newspapers, magazines, catalogs, phone books, mixed paper
  • white and colored paper (lined, copier, computer; staples are ok)
  • mail and envelopes (any color; window envelopes are ok)
  • receipts
  • paper bags (handles ok)
  • wrapping paper
  • soft-cover books (phone books, paperbacks, comics, etc.; no spiral bindings) (schools should follow their school  book recycling procedures)


  • cardboard egg cartons
  • cardboard trays
  • smooth cardboard (food and shoe boxes, tubes, file folders, cardboard from product packaging)
  • pizza boxes (remove and discard soiled liner; recycle little plastic supporter with rigid plastics)
  • paper cups (waxy lining ok if cups are empty and clean; recycle plastic lids with rigid plastics)
  • corrugated cardboard boxes (flattened and tied together with sturdy twine)

Not Accepted

  • Paper with heavy wax or plastic coating (candy wrappers, take-out and freezer containers, etc.)
  • Soiled or soft paper (napkins, paper towels, tissues)
  • Hardcover books (schools should follow their school  book recycling procedures)
  • Batteries
  • Electronic devices banned from disposal
  • Printer cartridges
  • Glass items other than glass bottles and jars (such as mirrors, light bulbs, ceramics, and glassware)
  • Window blinds
  • Foam plastic items (such as foam food service containers, cups and trays, foam protective packing blocks, and, and foam packing peanuts)
  • Flexible plastic items (such as single-serve food and drink squeezable pouches and tubes such as toothpaste, lotion, cosmetics, or sports balls such as basketballs, bowling balls, soccer balls, footballs, yoga balls)
  • Film plastic (such as plastic shopping bags and wrappers.) Bring plastic bags and film to participating stores for recycling
  • Cigarette lighters and butane gas lighters
  • Cassette and VHS tapes
  • CDs and DVDs
  • Pens and markers
  • “Tanglers” (such as cables, wires, cords, hoses)
  • Rigid plastic containers containing medical “sharps” or disposable razors
  • Containers that held dangerous or corrosive chemicals


Source: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/dsny/site/services/recycling/what-to-recycle


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